‘Makes me feel great’: University of Alberta’s first Wiccan chaplain is proud to serve | Metro Edmonton

Every Wednesday afternoon, Samuel Wagar sets up a table on the main floor of the University of Alberta’s Student Union Building, spreads out a brightly coloured cloth and a deck of tarot cards and waits for students to stop by for some spiritual guidance.

The school’s first (and only) Wiccan chaplain recently started offering free tarot readings.

It’s partly to reach out to the fledgling pagan community, but also just to make sure students in general know the chaplain service is there when they need advice.

“You just have issues in your life and you want someone to talk to, but you want to talk to someone with meaning, with spiritual resources, we can do that. We are there for everybody in the university community.” he said.

Source: ‘Makes me feel great’: University of Alberta’s first Wiccan chaplain is proud to serve | Metro Edmonton

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From Saxon Sirens to Sacred Orchards: The Modern Traditions and Pagan Origins of Wassailing

Every January, in parts of rural England, people still gather to celebrate Wassailing, a tradition with distinctly Pagan origins intended to bless the coming year’s apple crops and protect orchards from evil spirits. It’s an intriguing part of the ongoing connection between the present day and folklore but the roots of Wassailing stretch back even further. Back to the time when the Roman Empire’s hold on their province of Britannia was collapsing and how, in the years before King Arthur, a Saxon princess seduced a British king and opened the way to an invasion that changed the country forever!

Source: From Saxon Sirens to Sacred Orchards: The Modern Traditions and Pagan Origins of Wassailing

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Passing of the last Kadazan skull-keeper | Daily Express Newspaper Online

A significant part of Kadazan history ended a fortnight ago on Nov. 13 with the passing of Anthony Jomikik Lojuta at age 94. … What is less known was that Jomikik, as he was popularly known, was the last remaining physical link to the Kadazan community’s head-hunting past. Not that he was a head-hunter but that he inherited several skulls that are believed to be at least more than 300 years old or more.

… Although a Christian, he identified himself more as a pagan, partly due to his responsibility in caring for the spirits of the skulls, who he said he was able to communicate with in his own way.

Even at that time, he was concerned by what would happen to his charges once he was gone.

Source: Passing of the last Kadazan skull-keeper | Daily Express Newspaper Online

It’s always a loss to the world when we lose part of our past.

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Take Santa, Christian Christmas and add pagan ritual

Dr Tim Blakemore, a former senior law lecturer at the University of Northampton, finds some magic in the air and water of modern-day France where he now lives

There are some mysterious goings-on in France. In an article in July’s Connexion it was reported that the number of exorcisms in France has tripled over the past 10 years. The title to the piece (‘Booming number of exorcisms in France’) seems to suggest this is some sort of economic miracle rather than a religious issue, but a priest is quoted as expressing the concern of the Catholic church: “There’s a growing paganism so the Devil is more at home”.

Your acceptance of that explanation will depend upon your personal beliefs, but it is also possible that people are becoming more interested in such ancient mystical practices.

Certainly in rural France there seems to be a stock of traditions which at first sight appear to be in conflict with the entrenched Catholic Christianity, but with which the people themselves seem quite at ease. Perhaps it is offensive to describe these as “pagan”, but they certainly seem to be outside the framework of the established Christian church.

Source: Take Santa, Christian Christmas and add pagan ritual

Caution: this is behind a paywall.

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There’s a Quincunx for Sir Thomas Browne at the RCP

That modernist block by Regents Park that houses the medical professionals of the Royal College of Physicians has been given over to alchemy, astrology and witchcraft.

It’s an exhibition, not a new branch of the NHS, and this “cabinet of rarities” is a collection of objects collected by physician, philosopher, collector, and polymath, Sir Thomas Browne.

Source: There’s a Quincunx for Sir Thomas Browne at the RCP

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Scottish Water defends use of witchcraft to find pipes and leaks

SCOTTISH water has defended its use of witchcraft to detect pipes underground.

The public-owned utilities company has admitted that some of its water operatives use rods and divination to establish the “presence of water and pipes”.

Known as water witching in the United States, but more commonly referred to as dowsing here, it’s the practice of holding twigs or metal rods that are supposed to move in response to hidden water.

Though an ancient method, it’s not backed up by science.

Source: Scottish Water defends use of witchcraft to find pipes and leaks

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Get nasty (for charity!) at Let’s Get Nasty: Witch Hunt

Halloween is over, but no one is safe, (w)itches.

The Nasty Woman Project, a feminist initiative that began as a social media portrait project, is hosting its second major charity event Let’s Get Nasty: Witch Hunt in December.

“The immersive party will be set up like a witch hunt from the infamous Salem Witch Trials to represent the continuous demonization of the feminine spirit. The Witch Hunt was established to kill that spirit. We are here to bring it back. To revive it from the dark corner it’s been hiding in for all of this time. We are here to celebrate the WITCH.”

Source: Get nasty (for charity!) at Let’s Get Nasty: Witch Hunt

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The Shaken Path: A Christian priest’s exploration of modern pagan belief and practice, by Paul Cudby

John Drane finds it worth doing outside our church walls

PAGANISM is probably the fastest growing spiritual movement in Britain today, and Paul Cudby explores its appeal from his perspective as a Christian priest. The book begins with an account of his own faith journey, and a sabbatical that took him the length and breadth of the British Isles to meet self-described pagans.

Source: The Shaken Path: A Christian priest’s exploration of modern pagan belief and practice, by Paul Cudby

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Statue Plan Raises Questions – KTSA

By Don Morgan

A statue that’s planned for the San Pedro Creek area is creating some controversy.

It’s called Plethora and Allan Parker at The Justice Foundation tells us it’s being erected with nearly a million dollars of taxpayer money on county owned land…and that violates the Establishment of Religion Clause of both the Texas and U.S Constitution.

Parker says the artist stated the statue is the likeness of a Goddess and he doesn’t feel a Pagan statue should be paid for with your tax dollars.

[…]

Source: Statue Plan Raises Questions – KTSA

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